Chicago-based coffee shop Sip of Hope is the first coffee shop in the world putting all of its proceeds toward proactive suicide prevention and mental health education.
Jonny Boucher dreamed up the idea for the shop in November of last year, and it came to life only a few months later in late spring of 2018.
Boucher grew up just north of Chicago and by his teenage years was involved in the local punk music scene, putting on shows and organizing community spaces.
In 2010, his boss and mentor, festival promoter Mike Scanland, died by suicide. Scanland was the ninth person Boucher knew to die by suicide.
The very next year Boucher founded the organization Hope For the Day as a way to take action, as he had been deeply affected by suicide.
Now the organization works to proactively prevent suicide through physical and digital resources and campaigns, events, and educational tools.
Enter Sip of Hope, the organization’s latest project and a collaboration with Dark Matter Coffee, which supplies coffee beans for the shop.
Both the shop and the roaster see no profit — the shop’s mission is simply to raise funds for Hope For the Day.
“[Hope for the Day] has been our largest continuous charitable partner for the last four years,” said Kyle Hodges, Dark Matter communications director, to Chicago news source DNAinfo.
“When we met Jonny several years ago, he told us what he was doing, and it just struck a chord. We immediately jumped in and asked how we could help.”
In 2018, President Obama took to Twitter to celebrate the good that Sip of Hope is doing in Chicago.
He tweeted, "As the year winds down and we look toward 2019, I’m asking you to make a commitment: find something you want to change in your community and take the first step toward changing it. If you need some inspiration, take a look at some of the young leaders who inspired me this year."
He then went on to highlight leaders in the United States and around the world, including Boucher's personal story.
The coffee shop is taking up a tangible space to break the silence surrounding suicide and mental health. Their timely and impactful work has garnered overwhelming support in the city of Chicago by politicians and major news outlets.
A version of this story originally ran in Issue 04 of the Goodnewspaper in May 2018. The Goodnewspaper is our monthly print newspaper filled with good news.
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